Great leap forward ends at the medal dais

Michael Phelps is making history in the pool, but even he will be overshadowed by a tidal wave that will sweep his American team from the top of the Olympics medal table.

Cheated out of medals but Cook has no regrets

After more than 20 years out in front in the pages of the British record books, time might be about to start catching up with Kathy Cook. "It's got to be probable, hasn't it?" she said of the prospect of the national 400m record she set as a bronze-medal winner at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 – 49.43sec – being eclipsed by Christine Ohuruogu or Nicola Sanders. "Espec-ially with the edge of domestic rivalry they have between them. That will spur them on."

Berlin turns to technology to bring back the wall

Berlin's leaders were so happy to be rid of the most striking symbol of Cold War division that they tore the city's wall down after the collapse of East Germany and sold much of it off around the world. In retrospect, if only for the money it would have generated in tourism, they wish they had not been so hasty.

German shops 'used Stasi methods to snoop on staff'

More than 150 German companies, including 10 of the country's leading supermarket chains, were yesterday accused of resorting to "Stasi methods" to spy on their staff and collect intimate details about their private lives with hidden cameras, microphones and computer software.

Stasi's official pornography department finally exposed

Western pornography was banned under communism, but the armed forces of the former East Germany made their own sex films featuring bare-breasted female soldiers that were enjoyed by senior officers and outwardly prudish hard-line politicians.

German retail chain accused of using Stasi tactics to spy on staff

Germany's cut-price supermarket chain Lidl was accused yesterday of using Stasi methods to spy on its staff and collect intimate details about their personal lives, including their relationships, bank accounts and the frequency of their lavatory breaks.

Germany's 'Red Oskar' set for more electoral success

The Factory, an "alternative" venue in Hamburg's hip Altona district, was so full that police had to stop more people entering. Inside, crimson-faced and in front of a banner of the same hue, "Red Oskar" Lafontaine, the undisputed king of Germany's radical new "The Left" party was deep into a tirade against warmongers and capitalist neo-liberals.

Germany: Divided and reunited

Angela Merkel: 'We need to elicit a yearning for the sea, a need to build'

From an election address by the leader of the German Christian Democrats, given at a party conference in Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia
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General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions